I haven’t run a race in a long time. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have my share of good race stories. So I’m going to post them. Grab a cup of tea, put on Pandora, and read away.
The 3200-Meter Track Race:
When people (usually middle-aged ones wanting to relive their own T&F days) ask you which events you run, they don’t expect to hear “3200.” They expect something typical, like the 100 or 200M. They ask you how you could possibly manage the mental torture of running 8 loops around a track, or more if it’s indoors. The truth is, it’s not too bad. Not at all. There’s plenty of good people-watching, and you can watch them whilst knowing they’re not watching you, because who would watch the 3200M anyway? And you get into a zone: keep your head up, watch the runners ahead of you, and count down the laps until you’re finished. And people cheer. At a regular road race, you’ll see people cheering for you maybe once or twice. Three times if you’re lucky. But during a 3200M race, you’ll see your friends eight times. 16 if they’re willing to walk and see you twice per lap. It’s very motivating to have that support every step of the way. But most importantly, you look really BA after you’re done because most people couldn’t fathom running 8 speedy laps around a circular track. There’s no water stations. No pretty trees or animals or hills. It’s running in its purest form. And if you’re willing to take on the challenge, there’s no better feeling for a beginner runner than completing the 3200 track race. So if you’ve never tried it, please go find your nearest high school track, grab a stopwatch, and run.
But onto the actual story. It was the conference meet and I’d been picked as one of 2 runners to go. It was JV conference, but that means I got picked as one of the top 4 runners! Out of… erm… 6 or 7 in total. Whatever, I was still ecstatic. So the race starts, there’s approximately 20 runners. I felt strong during the first few laps, I’m pretty good at pacing myself so I didn’t get discouraged when a few people passed me. I knew I would pass them later. And I did. It’s maybe the 6th lap out of 8 when one of the other team’s coaches yells to me and another girl, “you’re fighting for 6th!”
6th place = ribbon. 7th place = no ribbon.
My competitiveness kicked in immediately. I ran faster and gained plenty of distance on the other girl. Soon I was a few steps behind another runner, whom I paced with for the rest of the race. She sprinted the final 200 meters and I pathetically tried to (I can’t sprint haha), so I wound up with a lovely pink 6th place ribbon. And a PR. Yay!